Schuberts Ungarische Melodien aus dem ungarischen Divertissement zu vier Händen, S425bis
By 1846 Liszt had probably noticed that his long and complex Mélodies hongroises
—his piano solo version of Schubert’s Divertissement à l’hongroise
—were not being taken up, except for the central March (see Volume 31). He recast the piece, making trenchant cuts and simplifying a lot of the texture. The new publication bears the German title Schuberts Ungarische Melodien
, and adds the legend ‘auf eine neue leichtere Art gesetzt’ (‘arranged in a new easier manner’). Typically, Liszt’s understanding of what an amateur might find easy was compromised by the fact that he himself seemingly found nothing to be difficult. As a result, many passages are well out of the range of domestic music-making. The less weighty effect of this version gained it a brief life in concert, but sadly this version has been out of print for nearly 150 years.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995